Crystal Palace name perfect replacement for Marc Guehi who has been on Manchester United radar

Exclusive: Man Utd Guehi hunt prompts Crystal Palace to rival Everton, West Ham for Bundesliga star.
A trio of English clubs are tracking Willian Pacho of Eintracht Frankfurt to see whether he lives up to the hype as one of the Bundesliga’s next breakout stars.

Frankfurt have an unbelievable defensive record this term, conceding just five goals from seven matches to give them the best goals-against record in the German top-flight.

One man to watch from that defensive unit is Pacho, a 22-year-old Ecuadorian international who is being tipped for an exciting future since joining earlier this year.

At this early stage of his career in Germany it is understood Crystal Palace, Everton and West Ham have an eye on his big breakthrough.

Pacho still has room for improvement in his game but is showing traits that underline why he was signed as a squad replacement for Evan Ndicka. While Frankfurt will be in no mood to let Pacho leave soon, there is already talk that a player signed for £8million from Royal Antwerp holds a value closer to £35million.

Roy Hodgson took over at Palace at the end of last term after Patrick Vieira was sacked and the improvement in their form led him to extend his stay into this term.

Palace are checking out the German market as part of their long-term plan to make sure their own defence remains one of the best in the Premier League. Only Arsenal and Manchester City have conceded fewer goals than the Eagles this season as Hodgson has locked up their back line to make sure they do not get dragged into any relegation conversation this season.

Willian Pacho: Eintracht Frankfurt Sign Potential Evan Ndicka Replacement

Crystal Palace eye Pacho as Guehi replacement

Much of Palace’s current success is built around the centre-back partnership of Joachim Andersen and Marc Guehi.


The Eagles are beginning to identify players for the future in case their key assets are plucked away, however, with Guehi already being watched by Premier League giants.


We revealed on Tuesday how Manchester United are genuinely interested in the £75million-rated defender but Arsenal and Spurs are also very keen.


Palace are in no rush as they expect to keep hold of all important squad members for the duration of this campaign. But two leagues under observation for emerging talent are Ligue 1 and Bundesliga – and it is over in Germany that a couple of early names are coming to light.


It is believed Palace have an awareness of Japanese international Ko Itakura, as well as Pacho of Frankfurt.


Itakura, 26, plays for Borussia Monchengladbach and has great game-reading and positioning skills that make him an intriguing option for any team build.

Spurs have also been tracking him too and may yet be tempted to make a move as signing a central defender is their priority for January.


Meanwhile West Ham are on the lookout for signings as they ponder the future of Kurt Zouma. We reported at the start of the week how they are opening up their search for defensive reinforcements.


One of the men they looked at was Piero Hincapie, but if he proves to be out of reach then his Ecuadorian teammate could offer a different solution.


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